Disclaimer: Saiyuki is the property of Kazuya Minekura. Not me.
Rating: PG-13 to be safe.
Warnings: Yaoi, AU (not traditional, just slight variation), slash (58), Gonouness, spoilers for book 4/episode 11, I suppose. Oh, and Kanan is way OOC.
Author’s note: I guess I was just feeling curious and wanted to see how it would come out…? I’m not a particular fan of Kanan (read: I hate Kanan) but I made her nice in this story…weird. Also, if you're wondering about the time difference between when Gojyo finds Gonou and when Sanzo and Goku show up...sorry. AU and circomstances permitting, I took the liberty of adding a few years.
It wasn’t as if Gojyo could have turned away from those glowing green eyes, at least not without feeling obscenely guilty afterwards, but it was really the second set that got him. The set that stared innocently up at him, flickering with worry and fear and uncertainty, and deep shade of crimson looking brighter in the evening rain. There was no way in hell Gojyo could have turned down those eyes, no questions asked. Silently, he held the man together as best he could and carried him and the child home.
“Hell is rather anticlimactic.”
“Who’re you calling anticlimactic?”
“…Then this isn’t Hell?”
Gojyo decided to change the subject. “You’ve got a really good kid. He never cries.”
The green-eyed man sat up suddenly, startled, then grabbed his abdomen. He looked pained, but managed, “Where is he?”
“Relax. He’s asleep in the other room. I’ve been feedin’ him and stuff.” Gojyo gave the other man a smirk, proud of himself for such diligent care. “Now lay back down or the doctor’s gonna have my ass.”
The other man lay back down sheepishly, but said, “May I see him?”
Gojyo nodded. “Sure. Hold on.” He disappeared to the spare bedroom, then reappeared, the red-haired, red-eyed child in his arms. “Here,” he said, handing him to the other man, who smiled and accepted him gingerly.
Gojyo watched the man and the child for a few minutes before he said, “How old’s he?”
“He’s yours, then?” Gojyo was curious to the origins of the taboo child.
The other man shook his head. “Ah…my sister’s child. She…was killed.”
Gojyo gave him a sympathetic look. “That sucks.” He paused, feeling awkward, then asked, “What’s his name?”
“Poppy?” Gojyo was surprised at the name of the child. It seemed like a girl’s name to him.
The other man smiled sadly. “She liked them. Especially the red ones.”
Gojyo nodded slowly. A taboo child named after a red flower. It fit, he supposed. “The father…he was human, then?”
The other man blinked at him, then something seemed to click in his mind and one hand unconsciously made its way to his ear to finger the silver clasps. He smiled softly down at the child and said. “He’s half and half, yes.”
Gojyo wondered exactly what had happened with this child, or for that matter, with this man, but he wasn’t one to pry. “Well, hurry up and get better so I can smoke again.”
The other man nodded. “All right.”
“Thank you for your hospitality, Gojyo-san.”
“You’re all better now?”
“And you’re leaving?”
“I don’t want to impose.”
“Got somewhere to go?”
A smirk that wrinkled two fine scars. “I like your kid.”
A smile that wasn’t fake. “All right.”
Another smile, that was purely innocent.
“Gojyo?” The suffix was left off tentatively, as if it might bite the speaker’s tongue.
“Gonou.” Gojyo had only learned the name recently, appropriate, since the other man was becoming a rather permanent fixture.
Gonou tentatively sat beside the other man in the dark room. Looking down at his hands, he said, “I’m a sinner, you know.”
Gojyo lit a cigarette. “Aren’t we all?”
Gonou shook his head. “Not as I am.”
Gojyo gave him a sideways glance. “Care to elucidate?”
Gonou smiled up at Gojyo plastically. “I killed 1000 youkai, you know.”
Gojyo blinked. “What?”
Gonou smiled. “I’m just like you. Neither youkai nor human.”
In half a year’s time, it rained enough days for Gojyo to piece together the story. Gonou had a sister, Kanan. A human. She was raped by a centipede demon, and impregnated. Gonou killed the centipede clan out of rage, and was transformed into a youkai himself. The child was born, named Keshi. Kanan, being kindhearted, loved it even though it came from her own pain. Gonou loved it because it came from Kanan. Everything was happy for 18 months.
And then youkai came for revenge, distant relatives of the centipede clan. They killed Kanan, badly wounded Gonou. He managed to escape with the child. And then Gojyo found him.
Gojyo didn’t know why Gonou left out the part about he and Kanan being lovers. Gojyo would not have cared; Gonou was his friend and he was sure there was no problem with it. It seemed strange for the other man to leave out such a chunk of the story, especially since Gojyo figured it out on his own.
It took him quite some time to figure out.
Gojyo was scared stiff the day that Gonou tried to run away. It was raining again, pouring, even. Gojyo had torn the house apart searching. Both Keshi and Gonou were missing.
He had run out into the yard and down the street and into the forest, acting on impulse and nothing else. He had run blindly through the downpour until he made a sharp turn and came face to face with the man he was searching for, the two-year-old wrapped tightly in his arms. He stared at Gojyo, letting the child down as he squirmed. Gojyo also stared, surprised when the child ran up and hugged his leg tightly, wet hair and what he thought were tears soaking through the already wet material.
He looked up at Gonou. “Why did you leave?”
Gonou looked away. “I hate stealing your life.”
Gojyo blinked. “Why did you come back?”
Gonou half-smiled. “Because you’re his father.”
Gonou had not, of course, meant his real father. Without realizing it, Gojyo had become sort-of a second parental unit for the child. After warm tea and towels, Gonou had cheerfully resigned to being the child’s adoptive mother. Keshi seemed to agree with these roles.
“Can I have a cookie?”
“May I have a cookie.”
“May I have a cookie?”
“No. It’ll spoil your apatite.”
“No buts. Dinner first.”
“Daddy lets me.”
Gonou sighed. “I’m not your father.”
“Mama, what’s wrong?”
Gonou managed a smile. “Nothing.”
“Why are you always sad when it rains?”
Gonou looked at the child. “Rain makes me think of an unhappy time,” he said slowly.
Gojyo sat down beside the two with a “wumph”. “Well then you ought to stop living in unhappy times.”
Gonou looked up at him. “…what?”
Gojyo nodded. “It’s settled. You’re getting a new name and you can forget about those unhappy times. Sound good, Keshi-kun?”
Keshi nodded enthusiastically. “I want Mama to be happy!”
“What should we call him, then?” Gojyo asked thoughtfully.
Keshi thought for a moment. “Hakkai!”
“Hm?” Gonou and Gojyo said at the same moment.
“Eight is my favourite number. So Mama’s new name should be Hakkai.”
Gojyo smiled. “You like it?”
Hakkai smiled back. “I’ll take it.”
“Keshi, you ought to clean up your room.”
“If your father and I can keep our room clean, you can keep yours clean, too. I don’t think it’s possible for you to be as messy as your father.”
“Hey.” Gojyo walked into the room as Keshi walked out, dejectedly, to do as Hakkai said. “I’m not that messy.”
“Uh huh,” Hakkai said, half listening as he emptied ashtrays.
Gojyo watched Hakkai in silence for a few seconds before he laughed slightly.
“What is it?”
Gojyo grinned. “What an odd couple we are.”
Hakkai smiled. “Does it matter?”
A shrug. “Dunno. Afraid Keshi-kun might turn out a little weird.”
Hakkai looked him in the eye. “Do you love him?”
Gojyo scoffed. “Of course.”
Hakkai smiled again and went back to work. “Then he won’t be ‘weird’.”
Gojyo half-laughed again. “Guess your right.”
“I guess I am.”
Gojyo brushed a chaste kiss against Hakkai’s cheek. “That’s why I love you.”
Hakkai laughed. “That’s why I’m always right.”
The doorbell rang.
Hakkai answered the door.
Outside were two men, a tall blonde priest and a shorter brunette youkai.
“Can I help you?”
“We’re looking for a Cho Gonou?” The priest eyed Hakkai suspiciously. “He’s guilty of mass murder?”
Hakkai smiled. “I’m sorry. He’s dead.”
The priest cocked his head. “Oh?”
“However,” Hakkai’s green eyes glittered as if reflecting an unseen rain. “I may have some information the could help you. Care to come in for tea?”
The younger man sprung to life. “Ooh, food, Sanzo! Can we?”
The priest sighed. “All right.”
Keshi smiled broadly, appearing at his mother’s feet. “Oh, yay! Visitors!”
Had the Sanzo priest ever had it in his mind to convict Cho Hakkai of murder, his intentions melted at the sight of the child.
Innocence may be bliss, but it can also be redemption.
I'm kind of proud of this one, actually.